Reinventing the Physician: The 2,000-Year-Old Story of Doctors and Patients

My role as physician is changing. Fortunately, we doctors have been through this many times, and you patients have always led us in the right direction. In this TEDx Penn Quarter video I’ll tell you the story of doctors and patients. I’ll show you where we’re going and where we’ve been. It might surprise you.

I’ve been on a whirlwind tour these last few weeks. I’d like to thank my brilliant and beautiful wife (and PR agent) @FoodBlogga, my colleagues and staff at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, Chris Mahoney (@cpmahoney) and Cynergy Solutions (who graciously invited me to speak) and two inspiring physicians with whom I spent some time recently, Dr. Joe Kvedar (@jkvedar) and Dr. Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande).

So tell me, do you see your doctor reinventing himself or herself yet? Why or why not?

Is Your Physician Board Certified?

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Is the milk you drink rBST-free? Is your physician board certified?

Many people take the time to buy hormone free milk, but they don’t make an effort to choose a physician who is board certified. That’s a shame.

Asking a friend or family member might be a good way to choose a hairdresser, but it is not a good way to choose a physician. Medicine is difficult. The same way that you want the pilot of your next flight to be maintaining his or her skills and knowledge of flying, you also want your physician to maintain his or her skills in medicine. The truth is, you are much more likely to die from your doctor’s mistake than from a pilot’s mistake.

Being board certified is no guarantee that your physician is good (or nice!), but it does assure you that your physician is committed to continuing education and is learning advances in medicine. It also assures you that your physician has completed the necessary training and passed a certification exam for the field of medicine he or she is practicing. Having a license means only that they completed the minimal requirement to practice medicine. Maintaining active board certification means that your physician has undergone yearly continuing education and has passed a re-certification exam every few years.

Certainly there is more to being a good physician than completing residency and passing written and oral examinations. But studies show that high exam scores do correlate with practicing better medicine.

There are 24 board specialties. You can check to see if your physician is board certified by going to the American Board of Medical Specialties site at ABMS.org, registering, and putting in your physician’s name. It is a free and confidential service. You can have a nice glass of rBST-free milk in the meantime.

Post written by Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, Copyright The Derm Blog 2009.

Photo: Ingrid Taylar (flickr)

7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Doctor’s Visit

Patient satisfaction has more to do with communication between doctor and patient than with the skill of the physician. With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you get the most out of your next trip to the doctor’s office: Continue reading “7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Doctor’s Visit”